Minimum Projector Viewing Distance - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-17-2003, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I am curious as to what the minimum Projector Viewing Distance might be.

We are about 8 or 9 feet from the wall.

Currently we have a Samsung HLM 507 W DLP (50") RPTV
which we have 23 days left to return.

Now this set isn't too bad but It's expensive $3600
and I keep wondering if a CRT RPTV might be better.

I've been looking at DLP & LCD and Panasonic DLP and
RPTV CRT but I've been skipping Projector CRTs
because our viewing distance is so close.

What I would really like is 1920 x 1080 but 8' away and
being far enough away at 8' so that I'm not seeing all
sorts of artifacts ...

Of course I'm not going to get that but I was wondering
if our viewing distance is too close for projectors and if
they are cost effective.
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-17-2003, 02:20 PM
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lawlopez,
If you are looking to capitalize on what is the minimum seating distance possible at a given screen size with the least artifacts then good scaled DVD or HD on a front projection CRT is it. I sit 10' from a 9' wide screen and with HD there is detail to spare essentially clean of artifacts. You may be eliminating the best choice for your needs for the wrong reasons.
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post #3 of 13 Old 02-17-2003, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Art,
10' from a 9' screen seems a bit close to me.
Is it ?

I'm 8' from a 50" diagonal DLP TVRO which I think is 3.6' wide, so that would be an change of 8'/10' smaller and 9'/3.6' bigger or twice as big. Gee, that's about how it was like when I was 4' away from the DLP. I kinda liked that. Problem was I was seeing no detail in th the dark areas of the image. That wouldn't be a problem with a CRT system.


Larry
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-17-2003, 02:54 PM
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Cost effective, yes if you are willing to get a good used set.

At 8' back, you would be looking at roughly a 5'-6' wide image, which most CRTs should be able to focus and project without much trouble.

At 8' back on a 5'-6' wide image, I don't think you would see too many scaling problems.

I definately agree with Art, you may want to seriously look at FP CRT.
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-17-2003, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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spearce,
Where do you get used projectors ?
Can I use it as our "main" TV, or will this amount of use damage it (screen burn, short life, ...)

We seem to be 9' from the wall, and have something like a space for a 5' to 7' wide screen.

This feels like a lot more fun than a DLP set.

Larry
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-17-2003, 03:44 PM
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Quite a few members sell used sets. Stay away from ebay (fleabay) unless its a seller that is well known on this forum. (Some of the members here also sell on ebay.)

I wish AVS would let us host a list of these sellers, but they don't (and I can understand why). Get on Curt Palme's mailing list (curtpalme@shawbiz.ca), plus Chuchuf, pcCinema, Eric Lang at PSI, etc. sell good quality used sets. Another thing is to look at your local auctions, especially from universities and corporations as they frequently liquidate CRT projectors to be replaced with digitals.
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-17-2003, 06:22 PM
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Blah...I watch my Ampro 2000D @540p on an 8ft wide screen at some.. SIX feet away..well maybe 7 or so but you get the point. If oyu get your focus and convergence good you wont have a problem. It's all about the SIZE... and kick@$$ movies. Add in a DTS surround system and you're set.
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post #8 of 13 Old 02-17-2003, 06:23 PM
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Oh... one more thing. Digital bad; CRT good :D
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-18-2003, 10:33 PM
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lawlopez asked:
> 10' from a 9' screen seems a bit close to me. Is it ? <

No, not for the HD sources Art was referencing. They've got resolution to burn. For upscaled DVDs, you'd want to move that back another 3' or so.

Or in other words, HD sources will look good at viewing distance-to-width (d/w) ratios as low as 1.1-1.2, while DVDs will be more like 1.5 and up. For your room scenario, assuming that some/most of your viewing will be from DVDs, you could comfortably consider a 64"x36" (16:9) screen. That would be more than twice the screen area you're experiencing now.

For the kind of money you're talking about, you could get a good used front-projector; and hardware scaler (to keep things simple), or an HTPC software scaler (for maximum flexibility). But prepare yourself for more work (and fun!) than just wheeling a big box into the room.

One factor to keep in mind is that CRT PJs tend to be a bit long (several feet), so if your room is small that will impose a maximum size screen you'll be able to project. But I suspect that maximum (~70"?) would be well within the maximum already imposed by your viewing distance.

One other item that no-one has mentioned is that CRT PJs require a light-controlled environment, while your RPTV can be comfortably viewed in reasonable room-lighting situations. You'll want things dark for CRT use, and that may or may not be feasible for you.

- Tim

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post #10 of 13 Old 02-19-2003, 02:47 AM
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It about blew me away to see my name listed amongst the big boys spearce... I'm just a little dabbling fish in this big pond, not a pro like Curt and the others, but thanks just the same.

I was reading down this thread for the first time, thinking what I would say, and it looks like everyone beat me to it.

I am 6' from an 8' screen a lot of the time. Way out of optimal in normal circumstances, but...

Even as I type this I'm really pushing the limits but like others have said FP crt's even mid-lower range can resolve those HD signals and properly upscaled sources to beyond what you might expect. If you want to sit close use a well set up HTPC if you have the time and patience to do a little setup, or actual HDTV or something above the average line doubler.

To be honest at 6' away my 8' image looks kinda, well, a bit crappy on SDTV, pretty decent on computer at xga, and awfully damn nice with DVD upscaled with the htpc.
Throw in a pc configured with all the wisdom of the forum to upscale everything and the better the pc is set up the closer you will have a nice picture.

And again, light control is important. If you have a bunch of windows in your room you'll have to close them off with better than the average curtains to enjoy the full experience during daylight hours. Not that it won't work, depends on the pj's lumens output, but it's nowhere near the same if there's much sunlight getting in.

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post #11 of 13 Old 02-19-2003, 07:00 AM
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There is some viewing distance info based on cinema standards and visual acuity here.
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post #12 of 13 Old 02-21-2003, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you kindly for all this information.
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post #13 of 13 Old 02-21-2003, 09:35 PM
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1.3 screen widths for good DVD transfers of scope movies (pretty much the rule), 1.66 screen widths for other DVDs, 2.2 for bad DBS/cable channels and VHS (if you window-box them on a 16:9 screen, this is 1.66 times that screen's total width).

Hmm. I just realized something interesting: Those width relationships are all right arround 3 screen heights. Perhaps not coincidentally, this is the viewing distance HD is designed arround.

If you share my exceptional taste, a 2.35:1 screen measuring 85" x 36" would be ideal for you although you'd want a nice 8" EM focus to be able to get good resolution.

I thought about the 2.35:1 route when I ordered my screen, but had neither the width (116") to do a wall-mount of that magnitude between my speakers nor the light output to fill it (7' is a fine width for a CRT)

OTOH, I could shrink from 87x49" to 85"x36", get an electric screen, mount it 3' closer, and drop it between my speakers (!@#$%^ upgraditis)
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